Oh come on.

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

I KNOW you need one more doughnut in your life today!!

Lemon freaking cheesecake. That’s what we are doing. It’s insane and decadent and rich and tangy and sweet and creamy and fluffy and light. I cannot.

But I so can!

And you can too.

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

I rarely celebrate national food holidays because if I did, I’d be celebrating one, sometimes two, every single darn day. But I just can’t pass up doughnut day. Never ever ever. Here’s why:

strawberry sprinkle doughnuts

chocolate frosted kettle chip doughnuts (i know)

peanut butter filled chocolate glazed doughnuts

tres leches coconut doughnuts

greek yogurt doughnuts with stovetop granola

chocolate glazed cake doughnuts

blueberry doughnuts!

maple bacon doughnuts

chocolate pistachio doughnuts

Need I say more?

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

Yes, there was a time on this blog when I didn’t love doughnuts. That means that you’ve witnessed my entire doughnut-loving transformation right here. RIGHT HERE.

Why are they so good? Ugh. 

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

So. The insides.

We have homemade lemon curd whipped with mascarpone cheese. Piped inside of the hot, doughy, yeasted doughnut.

The outsides? A drizzle of mascarpone glaze. A sprinkle of lemon sugar. More lemon curd spooned on top.

The trashiest of all the lemon doughnuts to have ever lived!

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

This is one heck of a high maintenance recipe. It’s why I linked all of my other favorites above. Last year I went the baked route and while I’ve come around to baked doughnuts so much more after having Max, I wanted to do national doughnut day RIGHT.

Do it a solid.

Make some legit, insane, out-of-this-world doughnuts.

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

But now really, I’m not sure if I can ever bake a doughnut again. I might have completely screwed myself. Because lemon cheesecake is all I will think about foreverrrr.

Gigantic latte, cheesecake doughnuts, morning (internet?) newspaper, a killer playlist.

Let’s do it everyday.

lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com

Lemon Cheesecake Donuts

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mascarpone glaze


  • [as a note, you might want to make the lemon curd first so it can chill for a few hours!]


  • Add the milk and water to a saucepan over low heat and heat until just warmed.
  • Place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer and pour the warm milk over the butter, stirring until it melts. Add in the honey and sprinkle the yeast over top, giving it a quick stir. Let sit for 5 minutes or so until the yeast is foamy.
  • Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg and half of the flour to the yeast mixture. Using the paddle attachment, beat the dough on low speed until combined and sticky. Add in the remaining flour and beat on low speed, gradually increasing to medium speed until the dough comes together. It will still be stick! Switch to a dough hook and beat the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed, or until it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place it in another oiled bowl to rise. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for one hour.
  • Place the dough on a floured surface and roll it out to be 1-inch thick. Use a 1-inch biscuit cutter (or something larger if you prefer) to cut out the dough rounds and a smaller circle (I used the bottom of an apple corer) to cut out the center. Place the rounds on a baking sheet, cover, and let rise again for 30 minutes or so.
  • Heat a large pot of oil (I used vegetable oil) over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to determine the temp – you don’t want it to be higher than 365-370 degrees. Add the donuts 2 or 3 at a time and fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Let cool completely.


  • In a saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves. Place the egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the warm lemon mixture, then reduce the heat and add the eggs to the saucepan, whisking the entire time. Cook over low heat until it thickens, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Whisk in the lemon zest.
  • Once thick, remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Pour the curd into a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Let it cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • To make the filling, Whisk the mascarpone with about 1/3 cup of lemon curd until smooth. Reserve the rest of the curd for topping. Take the creamy lemon filling and scoop it into a piping bag (or ziplock fitted with a frosting tip).  Squeeze and pipe a bit of filling into the center of each doughnut. If there is any filling left, feel free to do whatever wonderful thing you’d love! (< oatmeal topping, toast, banana bread, etc.)

mascarpone glaze

  • Add the mascarpone to a large bowl and whisk until creamy. Whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, then stream in the milk and stir until a glaze forms. You will have to stir for a minute or two to remove any lumps and bring the glaze together. If the mixture still seems too thick, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking well until smooth.
  • Spoon the glaze over the doughnuts. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until well combined. Sprinkle over the doughnuts. Top them with the remaining lemon curd if desired.

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lemon cheesecake doughnuts I howsweeteats.com